Brexit impact could be years away, but UK firms told to prepare

By Huw Jones

MANCHESTER, England   Britain's businesses may not feel the impact of Brexit for several years, but should not count on the country eventually striking a good trade deal with the rest of Europe, company treasurers were told at a conference on Tuesday.

Paul Watters, head of corporate research for S&P Global Rati

Asian Development Bank urges investment in infrastructure, innovation

Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Takehiko Nakao on Saturday called for further investment in infrastructure and high-level technology to boost economic growth in the Asia Pacific region.

Speaking at the 50th annual meeting of the regional development bank in Yokohama, Japan, Nakao said investment in infrastructure, particularly projects that incorporate advanced technologie

Japan`s Abe cautions against Brexit regulation cliff edge

LONDON - Japan's Shinzo Abe called on Prime Minister Theresa May to ensure a smooth transition for business as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, to avoid a cliff edge where rules and regulations for firms change overnight.

A day after talks with May at her country residence at Chequers outside London, the leader of the world's third largest economy

Trump signs executive order to expand offshore oil drilling

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday aimed at reversing Obama-era restrictions on offshore oil and gas drilling.

"Our country is blessed with incredible natural resources, including abundant offshore oil and natural gas reserves. But the federal government has kept 94 per cent of these offshore areas closed for exploration and production," Xinhua new

Time Inc and Meredith Corp end talks over merger deal

Time Inc said it was "definitely" not up for sale on Friday, sending its shares and those of U.S. broadcasting and publishing group Meredith Corp, its most prominent suitor, sharply lower.

While Time did not say who it had been in discussions with about a potential sale, sources said the move ended two months of talks with Meredith. Their merger would have united Meredith

Bombardier rejects Boeing trade claim, shares slide

MONTREAL/NEW YORK - Canada's Bombardier Inc hit back on Friday at rival U.S. planemaker Boeing Co's claim that it sold jets well below cost to win market share in the United States, the latest sign of increasing trade tensions between the two countries.

The risk of the United States imposing a tariff, which would likely depress sales of Bombardier's newest

Amazon's moves beyond retail get Wall Street thumbs up, for now

SAN FRANCISCO - Amazon.com Inc's ventures far beyond online retail, from cloud computing to movie making, are raising questions among corporate strategy experts about its focus.

The Seattle-based company wowed Wall Street again this week with a 23 percent jump in sales, pushing its shares to an all-time high. But there are concerns that if blockbuster growth stops

U.S. Congress passes short-term bill to avert government shutdown

WASHINGTON - The Republican-led Congress averted a U.S. government shutdown on Friday and gave lawmakers another week to work out federal spending through Sept. 30, with tricky issues like defence spending still unresolved.

The Senate passed a stopgap spending bill by voice vote without opposition after the House earlier approved it by a tally of 382-30. President Don

Trump aims to expand U.S. offshore drilling, despite low industry demand

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Friday to extend offshore oil and gas drilling to areas that have been off limits, in a move to boost domestic production just as industry demand for the acreage nears the lowest in years.

The order could lead to a reversal of bans on drilling across swathes of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic ocean

Credit Suisse bosses grilled over bonuses after 2016 losses

ZURICH - Credit Suisse's top managers and board of directors were grilled by shareholders on Friday over the Swiss bank's decision to pay out millions in bonuses despite losing 2.7 billion Swiss francs ($2.7 billion) last year.

Unrest over pay packets at Switzerland's second-biggest bank had already pressured Credit Suisse's senior management team, led

Asia weighs risk and reward in Trump 'bromance' with China's Xi

BEIJING - U.S. President Donald Trump's warm words for Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as a "good man" will reassure Beijing that he finally understands the importance of good ties, but risks leaving America's regional allies puzzling over where they fit into the new order.

The budding relationship between the two leaders appeared highly unlikely when

Japanese PM Abe asks UK PM May for 'smooth Brexit' for business

LONDON - Japanese leader Shinzo Abe asked Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday to ensure a smooth Brexit to allow Japanese companies to continue to operate as the United Kingdom exits the European Union.

The leader of the world's third largest economy praised PM May for what he said were attempts to secure Brexit transparency and a transitional period to ease the

Exxon Mobil profit beats Street as oil prices move higher

HOUSTON - Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil producer, posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Friday, helped by rising crude prices and cost cuts.

The results reflected the slowly improving dynamics for the company as well as the global energy industry, with oil prices up more than 50 percent since early 2016.

Still, poc

VW to spend billions through 2022 to beef up engines portfolio - CEO

BERLIN - Volkswagen said it plans to invest billions of euros through 2022 to beef up its portfolio of combustion and electric drives as it braces for a further tightening of emissions rules in key markets.

Europe's biggest carmaker last year announced a multi-billion-euro shift to embrace electric cars and new mobility services as it battles to overcome its diese

German economy booms as protectionist threat goes pop

HAMBURG, Germany - When port manager Axel Mattern looks out onto the Elbe River from his office in Hamburg's historic warehouse district, he can literally count the rising number of container ships leaving Germany's biggest harbour.

There is an export boom underway, the ships tell him. China, in particular, is "buzzing", Mattern says.

The s

McDonald's U.S. comparable sales rise 1.7 percent

McDonald's Corp reported a better-than-expected increase in quarterly sales at established U.S. restaurants, boosted by the expansion of all-day breakfast, and Big Mac and beverage value promotions.

The world's largest fast-food chain said on Tuesday that same-restaurant sales at McDonald's rose 1.7 percent in the three months ended March 31.

Analysts were expect

Euro zone banks sharply cut bad loan pile

FRANKFURT - Banks across the euro zone sharply cut their stock of bad loans in the fourth quarter, with Italy and Ireland producing the biggest reductions, European Central Bank data showed on Tuesday.

The ECB has made tackling the region's pile of bad loans a top priority, releasing fresh guidelines last year and telling banks to come up with concrete action plan

Analysis - Investors take another look at opinion polls after French vote

LONDON - Pollsters picked the two candidates to make it into next month's French presidential election run-off, going some way to restoring their reputation in financial markets before other important votes across Europe.

Centrist Emmanuel Macron won Sunday's first round vote with 23.91 percent. Far-right nationalist and anti-euro candidate Marine Le Pen came

Ericsson plunges to quarterly operating loss

STOCKHOLM/LONDON - Mobile telecom equipment maker Ericsson plunged to a quarterly operating loss on Tuesday, hit by shrinking markets and restructuring costs.

The Swedish company, which is focusing on its core networks business under new chief executive Borje Ekholm, reported an operating loss of 12.3 billion Swedish crowns ($1.4 billion) as previously announced provi

Gazprom CEO sees share of EU gas market rising despite LNG rivals

LONDON - A new pipeline from Russia's Arctic fields to Germany will boost Moscow's share of the European gas market despite competition from Qatar and the United States, and will also mean much less fuel goes via Ukraine, Russian gas monopoly Gazprom said.

Chief Executive Alexei Miller told Reuters supplies via Ukraine would fall after 2020, but not stop entir

LVMH's Arnault to take full control of Christian Dior

PARIS - French billionaire Bernard Arnault will combine the Christian Dior fashion brand with his LVMH luxury goods group as part of a 12 billion euro ($13 billion) move to simplify his business interests, a restructuring long demanded by other investors.

Under a series of complex transactions, LVMH will buy the Christian Dior Couture brand from the Christian Dior hol

Exclusive: Boeing near decision to launch 737-10 jet - sources

PARIS - Boeing is nearing a decision to launch a larger version of its 737 workhorse jet within two months to counter strong sales of the Airbus A321neo, after a breakthrough on the design for one of its parts, industry sources said.

The 737 MAX 10 would narrow the gap between the 178-220 seat 737-9, which first flew this month, and the 185-240 seat A321neo, which dom

Exclusive: Vivendi to accelerate expansion in video games and advertising - sources

PARIS - French media giant Vivendi will accelerate acquisitions in video games and advertising this year to allay investor concerns about its strategy, mixed results and poor share performance, two sources close to the matter told Reuters.

Advertising group Havas and video games maker Ubisoft are expected to be the first targets as Vivendi moves into the next phase of

Credit Suisse investors prepare to grill chairman Rohner over pay

ZURICH - Credit Suisse Chairman Urs Rohner faces his toughest shareholder meeting to date this week following an investor revolt over bonuses and losses totalling 5.65 billion Swiss francs ($5.7 billion) since 2015.

Rohner, 57, is facing calls to stand down after six years as chairman, during which time the share price of Switzerland's second-biggest bank has more

China to boost non-fossil fuel use to 20 percent by 2030 - state planner

BEIJING - China aims for non-fossil fuels to account for about 20 percent of total energy consumption by 2030, increasing to more than half of demand by 2050, its state planner said on Tuesday, as Beijing continues its years-long shift away from coal power.

In a policy document, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions